Fiction nightclub sold - KLE remains minority partner
Tameka Gordon, Business Reporter
KLE Group Limited has sold its Fiction nightclub to a Jamaica-born, inter-national businessman but will maintain a stake in the operation.
KLE Chief Executive Officer Gary Matalon confirmed the deal but was tight-lipped on the identity of the purchaser, who is based in the United States and who Financial Gleaner sources say has already made a downpayment on the nightclub.
"The basic outline of the deal has already been agreed in writing between the parties, and the final documentation is expected to be signed shortly," said Matalon.
KLE will continue to have a major input in the strategic direction of Fiction, through its participation on the board of the new organisation, Matalon said, adding that the new owner is expected to bring a wealth of knowledge in international nightclub operations to the management of the club.
Asked whether the club would undergo a name change, Matalon said "that is not likely", though conceding the marketing strategy for the entity is still being finalised.
Fiction will close at the end of March for refurbishing ahead of its planned reopening "in early summer of this year", Matalon said.
He declined to reveal the sale price for Fiction and the stake being retained by KLE, pending the closing of the transaction, but said the deal, "though still in the making, is an ideal one, and will allow the KLE Group to continue its focus on franchising the Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records brand", even as the company focuses on the "renewal and reintroduction of Fiction nightclub to the local market".
Fiction is one of three nightclubs owned by KLE. The Kingston-based entertainment spot has underperformed in the last year, leading to losses for the group. Matalon previously attributed Fiction's poor performance to the club having reached the mature stage of its life cycle.
Fiction contributed $89 million, or 27 per cent, to group revenue in 2013.